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Storm & Skye Litter – Week One

“Tornado Warning”We thought we were lucky. After a lengthy preamble, Skye rewarded us with one of those rare daytime deliveries since puppies are usually born in the wee hours. Mr. Grape (purple) made his debut at 4:55 pm on Sunday afternoon. But then we waited, and we waited until Miss Sprinkles (pink) was born at 6:28 pm and so it went on with Mr. Praline (beige), Miss Strawberry (red) and Miss Chocolate (brown) at 9:15 pm. Then Skye “tossed us a bone” by producing Miss Pistachio (green) a scant 13 minutes later at 9:28 pm. Of course, there’s payback so Mr. Sherbet (orange) didn’t arrive until 10:55 pm followed by Mr. Lemon (yellow) at 11:39 pm and finally Miss Vanilla (white) at 12:55 am on Monday. By the time we got everything straightened up it was 2:00 am but of course, sleep was out of the question as we now had to tend to Skye’s precious little bundles. Skye wasted no time in assuming her motherly duties to stimulate and clean her puppies by licking them. Despite her best eff…
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Skye, Day 56 (pre-parturition)

“The Final Countdown”As Skye heads into her final week of pregnancy, she is very much focused on finding the perfect den in our backyard to have her puppies. This morning she dug a hole that she can pretty much fit herself into along with Pepper, her partner in crime! It is her natural instinct to find and prepare a den to birth her puppies however, she’ll actually have them in a nice warm and sterile environment known as the whelping box. We keep puppies in our bedroom for the first 3 weeks and over the next week we will make all the final preparations for their arrival. 

Skye is still extremely interested in food and will almost take your hand off when offered a treat. She inhales her food in about 4 seconds flat and is now receiving 3 meals daily, but we may increase that to 4 or 5 meals as we move closer to her whelping date. Her abdomen measures a whopping 35.5 inches or approx. 90 cm.

Skye has a cozy dog bed or our king-sized bed to sleep on but prefers the cool tile floor in our …

Skye, Day 47 (pre-parturition)

Sassy Skye continues to be as active as ever. She enjoys being in the air-conditioned house when it is so humid outdoors. The occasional bird or squirrel has her preoccupied outdoors, but she quickly realizes that it’s too hot outside and she’d rather just come inside to cool off and enjoy a bone. 

Diet is so important at this stage as the puppies are beginning to grow rapidly now. Over the next few weeks as her abdomen expands, Skye will obviously begin to slow down.

Skye has always had a voracious appetite and she certainly continues to eat her food in record time and is always looking for more. She is enjoying an unprocessed raw diet including all the natural vitamins and minerals required along with folic acid, prebiotics and probiotics daily.  As her waistline expands, she will have less room for food so we will increase the frequency and reduce the size of each meal. Skye’s abdomen now measures 76.2 cm or 30 inches. 

At this point, the embryonic sacs are a little over 4 cm.  Althou…

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Seven

“Nature’s Charcuterie”The weather here finally cooperated suitably for the puppies to get outside. While a little tentative for the first two and a half minutes, they wandered over to the milk truck, aka Chanel who provided them with a little snack al fresco, despite their twenty-eight razor sharp teeth. After that, there was a huge free-for-all. The pups ran off in groups of two or three or sometimes solo. As their confidence grew, they explored the yard in ever-widening circles. They scaled rocks and little mounds of snow and chased one another around a big cedar tree in a seemingly endless game of tag. When they were ready to wind down a bit, a sampling of nature’s charcuterie followed. This consisted of sampling a variety of twigs with a chaser of a mouthful of snow.

Most of their neighbours, namely the pups in Faith’s litter departed for their forever homes over the weekend. We used the opportunity to give everyone a bit more room by putting the five boys in Faith’s whelping box a…

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Six

“UFC Takedown”The days are getting longer but unfortunately, they’re also getting soggier as Mother Nature peels back her snow covering and reveals our nemesis, namely mud. Accordingly, we’ve had to resort to some indoor playtime. We tossed a plush 6 ft long caterpillar onto the kitchen floor and let the gang loose on it. At first the mini pack sniffed it from end to end and then they worked on subduing it until they were satisfied it no longer posed a threat.

This week, the puppies experienced their first examination by Dr. Matt, the friendly veterinarian. Considering the number of puppies in our household requiring their checkups, it made more sense for him to make a house call. We had the pups on the kitchen floor while the checkups were being conducted and they were completely oblivious to the goings-on. They played and ran laps around the kitchen island. On more than one occasion, they were entranced by Dr. Matt’s colourful socks, but they thought better of challenging them. When …

Storm and Faith Litter – Week Seven

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”The pups had an absolute blast outside this week. They were just a bit tentative on their first outing, but it didn’t take long for them to step up to the challenge. They were unfazed by the mounds of packed snow and what surely seemed like mountains and moguls. Of course, the mounds are somewhat slippery, but this determined bunch quickly found their footing and conquered the summit. Some even found a few cedar twigs to nibble on while others either scurried about or simply meandered, taking in the vastness of the yard, the sunshine and the cool, crisp Caledon air. It’s interesting to witness the pups’ growing independence as they venture into the far corners of the yard either on their own or in small groups.

Faith is both a mom and playmate extraordinaire. She lures the pups into play mode with the “will you play with me stance” leading them on chases over the snow-covered terrain. Then, she rolls around in the snow while some of them try to cop a snac…

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Five

“Nibbles”The dynamic in the whelping box is evolving. This is the beginning of the most influential socialization period for the puppies. They’re learning to communicate with each other and with us by wagging their tails. With the increased control over their facial muscles, they are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities and communicate their opinions. They spend longer periods of time awake and they use it to engage in some manner of play with their siblings whether head butting or wrestling. They’re also craving a lot of attention and affection. 
Since the little ones are getting more accustomed to eating solid food, their food is being prepared a bit drier and they are drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated. Now that the food isn’t as messy, fewer clean ups (in that department) are required. Of course, Chanel still nurses the puppies to supplement their diet.
This week we removed the pig rails from the main part of the whelping box. Now that the puppie…